Downloading Sequences

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The Standalone Sequence Downloader section of the LOR Control tab of the Light-O-Rama Hardware Utility can be used to send an animation sequence to a Light-O-Rama controller, which can later run that sequence independently, in "standalone" mode, without being hooked up to a computer running Light-O-Rama software.

 

When a unit runs a sequence in standalone mode, it not only executes the lighting commands in the sequence that are for that controller itself, but also, if the sequence contains any commands for other units, it will transmit them to the other units that it is connected to.  In this way, a single controller can be downloaded with a sequence, and act as a "director" for several linked controllers.

 

It is important that only one controller in any mutually connected group act as a director.  Downloading sequences to two separate controllers that are hooked up in a mutually connected group will have undesired results, as the commands transmitted by the two will interfere with each other.  Similarly, it is important not to also control sequences from your computer while you have a controller hooked up to it acting in standalone mode, for the same reason.

 

Normally, the controller will execute the standalone sequence any time that it is powered on.  However, some controllers have internal clocks that allow the standalone sequence to be scheduled to run during a particular timeframe.

 

Note: The CTB08 controller does not have transmit capability in standalone mode.

 

To download a sequence to a controller to be used in standalone mode, take the following steps:

 

Create the Sequence
Connect the Controller to the PC
Select the Comm Port
Select the Unit
Download the Sequence

 

You can also use this section of the Hardware Utility to choose when the sequence will run (for controllers that support this), to remove the standalone sequence from a controller, and to test a standalone sequence.

 

To get to the Standalone Sequence Downloader screen, make sure that you are in the LOR Control tab of the Hardware Utility, and then click on the "Standalone" button.

 

HULORControllerDownload

The Standalone Sequence Downloader section of the Hardware Utility

 

Create the Sequence

 

Using the Sequence Editor, create an animation sequence.  Only animation sequences - not musical sequences - can be downloaded for standalone mode.  When you create the sequence, you must assign unit IDs and circuit IDs to the channels, as normal.

 

Some controllers have very little storage space for sequences.  Because size is a limiting factor, you should consider the following tips to keep your sequence's size at a minimum:

 

Fade commands take up the most space.
The least space is used when all lights on a controller are at either 100% or 0% intensity.
When possible, place similar commands at the same time.  For example, if you turn one circuit of a controller off and then, a tenth of a second later, turn another circuit on the same controller off, that will take about twice as much space as would turning both of them off at the same time.
Use loops whenever possible.
Different types of controllers have different maximum sequence sizes; controllers such as the CTB08 have little space and can handle only very simple animations.

 

Also, sequences to be used in standalone mode have some limitations:

 

The sequence must contain only one track.
The sequence should only contain commands for controllers on a single network; unexpected results may occur if you have more than one network listed in the sequence.
Timings are only supported on tenth-of-a-second boundaries (for example, 1 second, 1.1 seconds, 1.2 seconds).  If any timings in the sequence are at some centisecond other than a tenth-of-a-second boundary (for example, 1.15 seconds), they will be considered to be at the next tenth-of-a-second boundary.
Depending on the device type, between 1 and 10 loop levels may be supported.
Loop speed modification is not supported, and will be ignored.

 

Connect the Controller to the PC

 

Connect the unit to the computer, for example using an SC485 adaptor or a USB-RS485 adaptor.  Make sure that the selector switches are correctly set for the type of cable used (units are shipped ready to use data cables).  Plug the unit into an AC outlet, and turn the unit on.

 

Select the Comm Port

 

After you have connected the unit to the computer, select the comm port that the Hardware Utility should use to communicate with the controller.

 

Select the Unit

 

After you have connected the unit to the PC and selected the comm port, select the unit ID of the controller that you wish to use.  If you know the controller's unit ID, you can simply type it into the dropdown box labelled "Select Unit".  If not, use the "Refresh" button, and the Hardware Utility will scan your network for connected units.  You can then select it from the dropdown list.

 

NOTE: Scanning the network may take some time.  If you have set the unit IDs of your controllers to low values, you can use the "Max Unit ID" section to speed up this scan drastically.  It is therefore a good habit to assign your controllers unit IDs starting at 01, and increasing sequentially through 02, 03, and so on.

 

HULORControllerSelectUnit

Selecting the unit to use

 

Download the Sequence

 

Choose the animation sequence you wish to download using the "Open" button in the "Select Sequence" section, and then download it using the "DownLoad" button in the "Download Selected Sequence" section:

 

HULORControllerDownloadSequence

Selecting and downloading the sequence

 

If you do not see this in the Hardware Utility, make sure that you are on the LOR Control tab, and click on the "Standalone" button near the bottom.

 

Scheduling the Sequence

 

Some Light-O-Rama controllers can schedule the downloaded sequence to run at certain times or in certain conditions (those that cannot will run the sequence continually whenever powered on).  To schedule when it will run, use the "Trigger Condition" section:

 

HULORControllerDownloadTriggerCondition

Scheduling the sequence

 

Select the condition you want to start the sequence, and click "Send Trigger info to Unit".

 

If you do not see this in the Hardware Utility, make sure that you are on the LOR Control tab, and click on the "Standalone" button near the bottom.

 

Note: If you choose to use specific scheduled times, the clock on the controller is set to the current time according to your computer.  Make sure that the time on your computer is correct.

 

Removing the Sequence

 

To remove a downloaded sequence from a standalone controller, use the "Delete" button in the "Remove Sequence" section:

 

HULORControllerDownloadDelete

Removing a sequence

 

Note: This does not actually remove the sequence from the controller; rather, it makes it so that the controller will no longer play the sequence.  So, if you later decide to use the sequence again, you can simply reschedule the sequence to run, rather than downloading the sequence again.

 

If you do not see this in the Hardware Utility, make sure that you are on the LOR Control tab, and click on the "Standalone" button near the bottom.

 

Testing the Sequence

 

After downloading a sequence to a controller to be used in standalone mode, it is recommended that you test the sequence, using the buttons in the "Test Sequence" section.  To start the sequence, click "Sequence ON"; to stop it, click "Sequence OFF".

 

Note that the "Sequence OFF" button will stop the sequence even if it was started automatically (by powering on or by schedule, as opposed to via the "Sequence ON" button).

 

HULORControllerDownloadTest

Testing the sequence

 

If you do not see this in the Hardware Utility, make sure that you are on the LOR Control tab, and click on the "Standalone" button near the bottom.